by Kevin D. Annett
April 20, 2017
A subconscious need to please and placate our parents arising from the guilt that we have not lived up to their expectations: this attitude conditions our view of authority. And so like any untreated abused child, when authority attacks or threatens us we tend to defer to it, rushing into its arms and seeking relief and understanding from it, the very force that is oppressing us. Even the most politically conscious or self-aware individual falls prey to this infantile psychic condition, which is that of the trapped child unable to challenge and leave its parental sphere or even imagine a world outside such authority. Until we have released ourselves from this dreadful chimera, any possibility of fundamental social change or even effective dissent is pure illusion. - Erich Fromm
This past week, not surprisingly, two of my friends who have publicly challenged ritual child torture and trafficking in Canada were suddenly attacked and threatened with the loss of their children or their professional livelihood. Their response to this assault has been the same: to seek relief within the courts of the very authority that is attacking them.
Neither of these friends are uninformed or naive individuals; on the contrary, they have fought the system for years and understand its implacable and criminal nature. But when personally struck and threatened with losing what they love, their first reflex has been to toss their understanding out the window with the discredited belief that “things can be worked out” with their attacker. They refuse to see that they have both been targeted for elimination because of who they are. And so they both anxiously exclaimed to me,
“What alternative do I have but to negotiate?”
“Walk away from them” I answered. “Seek out your own justice.”
“But that will just get me in worse trouble” was their timid refrain.
Max Planck was a smart old man, for a scientist. A century or more ago he discovered that all matter is actually energy, despite its appearance of solidity. And not being exempt from the laws of the universe, society is like that, too. An apparently immoveable institution is in fact a constantly-changing energy field that is either fed or dissipated. And each of us, also being energy, can either nourish it or redirect its energy, once we know our own true nature.
The particular energy signal of the thing that is attacking my two friends this week feeds off fear, and directs it to paralyze and capture the energy of its targets. That’s always how a criminal institution deals with its critics: by nudging or bludgeoning them back into the fold where they can be fed off, or wiped out. And the reason that usually works is because even the most erudite activist or specialist has not mastered their own energy signal – what Sun Tzu inThe Art of War calls the “shih” – and so must habitually hand it over to their adversary with the helpless and fearful attitude: “What else can I do?”
Let’s talk basics. We and our children and nature itself are all facing a global war of extermination. We all are at risk just living in the 21st century because we are in a state of permanent war. And yet when we clash with the system waging war on us and attacks begin against us, we respond like people who are in a state of peace. We rely on a humanity and good will in our enemy that is not there. In short, we are not mentally geared to the conditions of war, which is a fatal condition to be in.
Being at war means operating according to a rock solid realism, which means seeing situations and opponents as they are and not as we want them to be: including when those forces attack us personally. And that’s the hard part. For as any perusal of the internet shows us, it’s easy for us to have solutions to dangers brought against others. But when the same dangers strike at us, we tend to run for cover behind the barricade of our own illusions and our dependency on the very system that is seeking our compliance or our destruction.
Growing up and moving out from dependency is never an easy thing to do, especially for one who is acclimatized to the pseudo-securities of job, family and home. The mental cage that keeps us bound to the status quo, despite all our best intentions, consists of our careful calculating of our actions according to what we might gain in relation to what we might lose. The kept soul always wants a way out of any risky situation and some absolute guarantee of safety before they act.
In reality, the issue is never about the risk involved in any conflict but rather our own fear of loss and ending. Until that fear is faced and surmounted and we recover our own shih, we are inwardly helpless before any close attack pressed against us. And our adversary knows that very well.
Sun Tzu said that in any battle, whatever we love makes us vulnerable, and must therefore be relinquished. My two friends are indicating by their actions that they are unwilling to do so. And consequently their enemy knows exactly how to control them and direct their shih energy.
Common sense (and Sun Tzu) tells us that when facing a more powerful adversary, we must not engage it on its terms but withdraw in order to dissipate its attack and find the space and time to act on our own terms. But walking away from their enemy is not an option for either of my friends: not simply because of their fear of doing so but more fundamentally because they are still caught in the mindset and shih energy of their enemy.
For example, the immediate concern of both of my friends was what not what they themselves would do next, but what their adversary would do. Their eyes were on another rather than their own substance. In fact, when attacked, we must never respond on the terms of our enemy, which only feeds its power. Rather, we create our own terrain and terms of battle. For whoever sets the terms tends to win the battle, if experience teaches us anything. But to do that we must first focus on and garner our own shih.
Regardless of your size in relation to a big institution, you can set the terms and define the terrain of the battle, provided that you don’t first surrender your shih to your opponent.
But what is equally true is that you can’t do so alone. Rather than even respond to the letters or threats of your adversary, you must first seek out others who will help you establish your own power. You must create a collective counterweight to what is assaulting you, since it is near-impossible for one individual on their own to break from the status quo and establish their own shih. An equal counterweight is needed to a big power: that’s just simple physics. And so you must immediately go public, make a stink, and rally others to you, if only to show your enemy that you are not alone.
I recommended this response to both of my friends, but neither of them could hear me. Their only concern was what the bad guy might do to them next, and how they could individually avoid being hurt. They were afraid of others knowing what happened to them in case that might upset the adversary and “compromise” a settlement. Such a capitulated, defensive mentality has already lost my friends the battle, since they have surrendered their own autonomy and capacity to maneuver and respond on their own terms, which is the only safeguard of a smaller force against a bigger one.
Anyone who is targeted for institutional destruction faces exactly these same dilemmas and choices. The targeted individual learns very quickly that their biggest weakness is their own learned deference to authority: to not upsetting the raised hand of the parental figure. But for those who have let go of the conditioned habit to win the approval of authority, they quickly learn that their capacity to out maneuver and overcome their bigger and more cumbersome opponent is limitless.
Fear, as always, is the main barrier to such empowerment. Most people still don’t believe me when I tell them I have no regular income and have no worry about where it will come from. They do not understand me because they have not personally experienced the liberating effect of losing everything and everyone in one’s life and yet still being alive and capable. Once the fear of death is gone, an eternal life and power is opened in each one of us. And that power is the only safeguard of anyone suddenly caught in the cross hairs of tyranny.
My two friends who are battling in fear this week do not understand that fact yet in a way that will cause them to act differently. They will have to learn from their own pain and experience that what is actually being asked of them by their adversary is not a mere compliance with wrong but the surrender of their very substance. Energetically, that is after all the nature of the parasitic corporate entity that we all face: it wants to incorporate all of us into itself, which literally means to make us dead, as part of its own corpse. But for that to happen what must die first is our belief in ourselves and our own capacity to say no and act on our own terms, regardless of the dangers facing us.
George Bernard Shaw once said, “The only real fear that nags at official authority is not that the people will resist it, but that they will ignore it.”
Go forth and do so, and reclaim the world.
Author’s Note: More of the strategy and outlook in this article is elaborated in my book Truth Tellers Shield: A Whistle Blower’s Manual which can be ordered at amazon.com and https://www.